Sunday, November 30, 2014

P.D. James dies at 94--

On Thanksgiving Day it was announced that English mystery writer great P.D. James had died.  She was 94.  Her actual name (and title) was Phyllis Dorothy James White, Baroness James of Holland Park.
Although I hadn't read any of her work, I seem to recall a fondness   when others talked about James' Adam Dalgliesh in book club discussions about various book characters.  Dalgliesh, identified as   a police commander and poet, is a fixture with police procedural mysteries with novels published for numerous years beginning from  1962 (Cover Her Face) and television appearances. 

  Her writing spanned to a private investigator series with Cordelia  Gray (who I did see in a TV adaptation) and most recently with a  mystery set in 1803 featuring characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice novel  in Death Comes to Pemberley published in 2011.  Examining her beloved writing genre in print, she wrote Talking About Detective Fiction (2009) about the history and appeal of mysteries and an autobiography, Time to be in Earnest (1999).

P,.D. James (photo from Google.com)
Dubbed the 'queen of crime' James enjoyed a rich recognition in writing circles for a long, successful career. To find any P.D. James books at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library click here, go to "advanced search."  Do an author search for "james, p.d." to find her books and books on CD.   

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ace Atkin's Carolina book tour swing--

Writer Ace Atkins stopped in Charlotte on an author tour on Wednesday and I was able to speak to him briefly and listened as he shared a few stories of his travels.  Atkins is the author of the Quinn Colson series which follows the work of a new sheriff in northern Mississippi.  He also writes the new adventures of Robert B. Parker's Spenser with three in print to date.  Parker died in 2010.

I told Atkins about my book club at the library and that we had read his second book of the Quinn Colson series The Lost Ones months ago (February of this year to be exact) and enjoyed it.  I wish had remembered to add that I would have suggested the book club read the first book of the series The Ranger--but the library system owned more copies of the second book.

Another comment I would have shared with the writer was that his book did bring us stateside for a story--and in the Souh specifically--after reading a number of books in England and elsewhere.
(I'm standing next to Ace Atkins during his visit to an independent
bookstore in Charlotte.  Our hands are resting on copies of his newest
"Quinn Colson" book The Forstaken which he was signing.)

I caught the tail end of the visit when the  discussion veered to talking "The Rockford Files" TV series starring James Garner.  Atkins was able to see some scenes filmed for one of the TV movies based on the series and also on a separate occasion got into a lengthy discussion with show creator (and novelist too) Stephen J. Cannell.






Thursday, July 17, 2014

Library display entitled
"Summertime decisions"
(photo by blogger)
I have a new display up in my library's mystery section to promote that it is summertime now and for those into summer reading--now is the time to load up.  And I see it in action at work with some readers. Some walk out the building needing a clothe grocery bag for each arm. While some at least make a valiant effort to grab that one book that gets read during the year.
 
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is well-underway with its annual summer reading program which is growing with activities and desirable gifts and incentives.  Whether getting a fine waiver card (from $5 to $10) or getting in the drawing for a new tablet, taking time to read has its benefits.  All age groups are included and the library is very wise to engage an interested public in reading.      

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The World Map Has a Mystery to be Found--


PresentationPro,atlas,continent,ecology,environment,equator,geography,globe,hemispheres,land,maps,world
Over the years, the mystery novels the book club had selected and read have jumped around the world with busy detectives--whether employed by law enforcement agencies or not--and amoral criminals.  From Beijing in China (Peter May's The Firemaker) to Ghana in Africa (Kwei Quaterey's The Wife of the Gods), the world is crowded with too many resorting to murder.  In our regular meeting space, we have but to look up at the wall on the right to see a nicely-detailed world map that on occasion helps to find where in the world the novel is set.  Granted, most mysteries are stateside or in Great Britain but we are not restricted with these spots with our monthly book club selections.

Take for instance Colin Cotterill's Killed at the Whim of a Hat in Thailand and Anne Holt's 1222: a Hanne Wilhelmsen novel in Norway which were scheduled a year apart.  These stories are set in very different environments and the settings shape the tone of the novels.  Cotterill looks for humor in human interactions while Holt's tale is somber in the cold environment. 
 
It is ever bit of an adventure to read a good international mystery explore the world from comfortable chair or couch.  And when desired it is helpful to find this certain locale on the world map. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is celebrating its 2014 community read week event with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.  Various events are scheduled as everyone is encouraged to read--as possibly discuss at a scheduled library program--the classic science fiction title.  Click here for the events at area libraries and elsewhere. 



I had considered looking at the book for the mystery book club--as library book clubs were encouraged-- but our April date was set.  And the book is far from a standard mystery story so I don't want to buck our book club orientation.  All the same, this American classic fiction book is one worthy of reading, discussing and thought.

Monday, September 30, 2013

New Touch in Promoting New Books--

My library has had a much appreciated new fiction book section where a stand-alone bookshelf housed the new books, identified by its yellow dot stickers with a date marked on them.  Convenient, it was close to the circulation desk in the front of the building.  A reasonable set-up--this was the arrangement for years until several weeks ago.    

First the books were moved across the floor to into a corner lining the wall.  They are no longer close to the circulation desk.

(Photo by blogger)
Second the revamped display appeared with some new fiction books now separated by genre.  As you can see on the photograph above the new mystery books are now on their own shelf with a modest-looking black "MYSTERY" label to identify the shelf for the library user.  And since I work in a different library department, this change was unexpected for me.

In the previous location all fiction books were interfiled although a small sticker on the bottom identifying some by genre.  Today, certain books are filed together as "mystery," "science fiction" and so forth.  I like it. I'm satisfied about the ease for the casual book browser--including me--to quickly find a "new" library mystery book.     

Monday, September 09, 2013

Murder mystery at the library--

(Photo by blogger)

It seems to me that its been a while since my library did the ole book display with an outlined body on the floor to direct library users to mystery novels.  (And what better way is there to denote the murder scene than with an outlined body on the floor with if exact position at death, huh?)

Well, that idea has resurfaced as a special "staff picks" book shelf now has that display as shown to the left.  And a knife is included in this display to the far right (my photo was taken to just include the body outline)--the murder weapon?

My co-workers picked mysteries with a lighter--and sometimes comedic--flare in books by Joann Fluke, Charlaine Harris and Bill Crider.  Death is death so why enjoy a smile when reading about the evil-doing that would sicken us otherwise.